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Zandvoort Masters 1999:

The Marlboro Renault Mégane Trophy

Renault_Megane_Coupe-Berg&Bavelaar.jpg (43193 bytes)The Renault Mégane Trophy is a budget-type racing class with strict car regulations. All cars are Renault Mégane Coupés 2.0, factory built to the same standard specifications with sealed engines. The parts that may be custom tuned are limited. The Trophy is a national series, but identical series are held all over Europe and the best local drivers at the end of the season are invited to take part in a pan-European finale race organized by the Renault company.
In the picture you see midfielder Manfred Bavelaar (#64) trying to overtake Rembert Berg (#51). Bavelaar succeeded and finished in 13th place with Berg finishing 15th.

Renault_Megane_Coupe-Kesseler.jpg (48554 bytes)This is Marcel Kesseler on his way to a 7th place finish in his bright yellow car.

Renault_Megane_Coupe-vRiet.jpg (41690 bytes)Pim van Riet took 3rd place in this uneventful race. This series should guarantee close racing, but this time that wasn't the case. The cars were spread out over the track largely due to the slippery conditions as the drizzle had picked up after the Formula 3 race.

Renault_Megane_Coupe-deVos.jpg (39000 bytes)Second place was for Van Riet's teammate John de Vos, a veteran in this type of racing.

Renault_Megane_Coupe-Bastiaans.jpg (42457 bytes)Race winner was Pim van Riet, also last years champion and currently the best driver in this Trophy. He went on to winning the European finale race at the end of the season too, but was put back to third place in the overall classification because he jumped the start. Next year he'll probably drive a Renault Clio RS in the Dutch Touring Car Championship.

I don't like this kind of racing. In my opinion autoracing should be about man and machine and strictly regulating and limiting the machine part takes all the excitement out of it for me. The combination of technical wit and driving skills are the ingredients of good motorsport. Concentration on driving skills alone, as this kind of racing classes are advertised to do, either result in a carnage with drivers pushing each other out of the way or in boring processions like this race was. That's way I didn't stay on to watch the Alfa 156 Challenge at the end of the day, it's just as boring and the Alfa Romeo marque unworthy.

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